Almost all the resorts at Kabini are getting fully occupied for Christmas and New Year holidays, and so are the vehicle and boat safaris here. During an evening boat safari, I was guiding a handful of guests from different parts of the world. We made wonderful sightings of Smooth-coated Otters basking on the banks, herds of grazing Chital and wild pigs busy feeding on tender shoots and roots. They were being followed by Mynas who were picking insects and flies as the grazing animals moved and rested.
As the boat reached a point where we had to return, I noticed that the rest of the boats were returning, and so asked my guests whether I could stop there for a few minutes, just to listen and feel the breeze of the jungle. They were all quite ready for that experience.
I was showing them the place where the khedda operations took place to catch the wild elephants and about the cry of the elephants that were captured during this period. But this story was interrupted by a guest who pointed out an approaching tusker, exclaiming, “Wow Elephant!”, which made everybody look in that direction.
There appeared on the scene, a handsome young tusker who was walking high on the river bank and heading straight towards us. For some time, I was wondering where the tusker was heading. As we gazed at this beautiful tusker, he gently stepped down to the river, and it looked as if he was using the slopes of the banks as steps.
The shadows that fell beside him were larger than life, and he firmly fixed his front legs on the land, extended his trunk and began quenching his thirst right in front of us. Once he was done, he climbed back the ‘stairs’ of the bank, and disappeared into the horizon on the lush green grass.